Fraud and malice make my blood boil.
Near the end of my holiday break, I receive a call from phone number (07) 5641 4654. The automated message tells me that a warrant for my arrest has been issued by the Australian Taxation Office. The voice says the warrant is for tax fraud. The voice tells me to call back on a number that I don’t have time to write down.
So instead, I call the actual number. A heavily accented voice tries to pass themselves off as the Australian Taxation Office – but with intentional blurring of the name so as to deceive the listener. I ask why the person is working for a company committing fraud? The answer, as you may expect, is that the company does not engage in fraud.
Yet they do.
And it’s a scam that is familiar to Australia’s regulators. Australians have lost a lot of money through this ongoing scheme. The perpetrators prey like vultures on the unprepared, the unwary, the insecure, and those who are vulnerable. It is a disgrace.
As a financial planner, it makes my blood boil to know that this sort of skulduggery is taking place, and that very little is being done to combat this horrible activity. Where there is a phone number, there is a connection. Where there is a connection, there are businesses or entities operating, and those entities are operated by people. Those people are acting illegally, and they can be caught, were sufficient resources directed towards them.
When I think of the daily compliance and the layers of bureaucracy that we planners must deal with every day, I despair at the waste of resources that could be directed to actually helping people deal with their financial worries.
It is my opinion that too much time, money and resources are wasted in pointless regulation that does not benefit consumers. Not enough time, money and resources are directed to catching these criminals, who peddle fear and insecurity. Criminals who steal money from the vulnerable.
How much money?
That’s right – $800,000 in one month!
I do not see why this should not be an absolute priority for all financial regulators.
I have reported the scam through the ACCC Scamwatch – the link is shown here https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
If you hear from these crooks – please simply hang up on them, and report the scam. Maybe, just maybe, some of the money being spent on pointless compliance can be directed to tracking down these scum.